Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Robert Frost is on the 2015 HSC poetry list.
My eldest stepson is studying 6 of his poems (rather reluctantly) with his class.
The major theme they're exploring is discovery (or self-discovery).

On the surface of Fire and Ice (1923) we see man struggling to some to terms with the end of the world.

Fire and ice both have lots of symbolic meanings in our culture.

He offers us a contrast - two options - a contradiction.
The choice is universal and individual.
Both both choices can be experienced (& survived) & both choices can end in destruction.
Is this really a choice? Or is it a sign of how to live with complexity? Duality? The shades of grey?
Should we avoid desire (lust & greed) AND hate (cruelty)?

"From what I have tasted" leads us to view what Frost has discovered about life, love & death.
Is it better to go down in ball of flames, passion, love, desire & heat?
Or is a more calculated, cold hearted, reasoned approach best?

Once again Frost is highlighting man's isolation from his environment and from others.
Is he trying to warn us about our worst traits? The traits that could lead to our downfall? Greed & hatred?

Such big themes for such a small poem!

What did YOU discover as you read through this poem?

1 comment:

  1. I had never really thought of this one before but you raise really good questions here.

    Here I would guess the fire seems to be connected with strife and violent emotions. Based upon the words of the poem, it seems that he has seen enough of that in his life.

    ReplyDelete

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